DCC134 weird noise

Hello all,

I have a weird noise coming from my newly acquired DCC134. See and hear it in this video:

It was dead when it arrived. I cleaned the tape path and replaced the worn out belt.
I have never before heard such a sound from a portable DCC.
Any suggestions?


Sounds to me like a solenoid barely making contact…

Sometimes when I FF/REW a bit it disappears. Yes, tried different tapes.

it might be related to the louder rattling I have seen before. Is the audio playing fine otherwise?

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Yes, it is, weird huh?
It is now playing fine without noise and good audio for over an hour.
It seems mainly a problem when you first start the player ‘cold’. After a while it might disappear. Need to test more I guess.

What rattling are you referring to? And what solved it then?

Oh, and on a related topic, do you know if the capstan shafts in these portable players need lubricating, or are they self-lubricating?

Still not solved.
I have not lubricated the capstans before.

Hmmm The sound of the rattling is very different, and the situation is also very different. So it is not the same problem, I think.
It might have the same cause. I am suspecting the belt. It is new, but with 0,8mm I always find that it looks a bit too thick. However, the thickness may be necessary for good grip on the wheels and pulleys.
For ‘my’ rattling sound I will first try lubricating some wheels, hence my question.
Then, I might try a 0,6mm belt.

Lubricated the mechanics of this screaming machine, but it was already smooth actually.
Still screaming.
Then I installed a very tight belt: 58 * 0.6 mm (2.3″ * 0.024″) square shaped.
Still screaming.

I have no luck with DCC134. All 3 that I have have problems.
Is it a weak model?

Funny that you mention that, as I have the same feeling.
I have more problems with the DCC134 in either the mechanics or head related problems then with the 170 or 175.

Is the 134 mechanism different compared to 170/175?

I think not, I even suspect that all the portables share the (almost) same mechanism. So even the DCC130.
But maybe Ralf can give a definitive answer.

We’ll just wait and see…

The mechanisms are technically all the same. At least if you go to the tiny details.
The frame around it would prevent a 130 to be used for anything else (but the Panasonic and Victor).
But you could modify that I guess.

Same for the 134, 170 and 175. They should be interchangeable., but I have only done that between the 170 and 175.

Well that leaves the elephant :elephant: in the room doesn’t it? Might be very interesting to find out why the 135 is less reliable compared to the 170/175… there must be something… I mean Ralph you have dealt with so much of these portables… did they cheapen the materials to keep the cost down?

@pvdm could it be the power source? Bridge rectifier shot? Ac current comming through?
Listened to your video again… solenoid or baring? Just thoughts…

The materials are the same as the 13,4 170 and 175 are from the same period.
The heads on the 134 seem more problematic to me.

Also because the Panasonic RQDP9, Philips 170 and 175 have very similar parts, it is easy to use / keep them for spare parts. The 134 is a lot less common (as it is a player only).


DCC134 weird noise part 2. I may have found the culprit.



So I have three DCC134’s, all of which have some problem:

  • Player #1 has no audio on the left channel on the headphone output
  • Player #2 keeps reversing the tape A<->B constantly all the time
  • Player #3 the motor makes a scratching noise

Through a lot of testing I found out that it appears that all these problems originate from the main Circuit Board. Because when I exchange this board among the three machines the problem stays with the board.

So for instance I can make Player #1 produce a scratching noise from the motor by putting the top circuit board from #3 into #1. Et cetera.

So even with 3 malfunctioning DCC134’s I can not make 1 good one unfortunately. Pity.


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